Bike racing is a sport steeped in tradition. Some are old, some are new. Some are practical, some are strange. But over the past few seasons, Rally UHC Cycling has created one of the best traditions in all of pro cycling. Each year at the Tour of California, the team creates several unique, custom-painted race bikes for select riders. Most significantly, though, is that each design is inspired by one of the children of the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation. The bikes are raced in the Golden State, and, best of all, auctioned off with all proceeds going towards that incredible charity. Here's the official word from Rally UHC Cycling, including details on how you can own one of these stunning creations and support a very worthwhile cause along the way:
This fleet of one-of-a-kind Felt FR Disc bicycles will be raced by Rally UHC Cycling at the 2019 Amgen Tour of California and auctioned live to benefit the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation. Six brave young UHCCF grant recipients were surveyed to provide inspiration for each bike’s novel identity. See the bikes racing live in California on NBC Sports Network or via the Tour Tracker, and don’t miss your chance to own one of these exceptional, hand-painted Felt FR Disc race bicycles! The designs are a collaboration between Rally UHC Cycling’s creative team—Emily SaintOnge and Sam Wiebe—and are hand-painted by Brad Galvin at Dirt Designs Graphic using premium Axalta paints and clear coat. Each bike is outfitted with high-end race componentry—the same equipment used by the Rally UHC Cycling pros.
Frameset: Felt FR Disc
Bar, Stem, & Seatpost: Easton EA50 and EA70
Components: SRAM Red eTap Hydro 11-speed
Wheels: HED Belgium Disc
Tires: Kenda Kountach Pro 700x25
Bottle Cages: Arundel carbon fiber
Pedals: TIME XPRO
Marcus, who hopes to be a policeman when he grows up, “because it’s hard work and if someone is in trouble, you can help,” inspired this heavy-duty design. This frame was designed to look tough, but also celebrates Marcus’ favorite activity with a certain world-famous building block. This strong foundation reveals itself in Marcus’ favorite primary colors from underneath a layer of deep black and silver pearl. Marcus’ advice for our cycling team headed to the Tour of California? “Go, Go! Don’t stop, keep going! Be sure to drink lots of water!”
This universal design celebrates both Sarah’s passion for art and a certain space epic in a galaxy far away (the original trilogy, of course). Sarah loves painting and drawing because “it’s inspiring to feel like you can do anything with just a paintbrush,” so painter Brad put his own special touch on this frame, with blue, teal and red “Stardust” misted over a deep blue and violet ice pearl base. Sarah’s advice for our cycling team headed to the Tour of California? “When you get to any part that’s hard, keep in mind that there are ill children whose day is much harder. So, ride for them. My father is also a cyclist, and I know a little bit about what you might be going through as you ride through the mountains. When you feel like you might give up, just remember ‘faith, trust, and pixie dust’ (Tinker Belle) and ‘may the force be with you!’”
Kaelyn has a passion for nature and biology and loves “studying animals and how they interact with their environment,” so the design team concocted this radiant, organic design. A gradient with two of her favorite colors – purple and blue--gives the frame its soft base, while “cells” printed with metallic ink speak to the beautiful architecture inside us all. Kaelyn’s advice for the team headed to the Tour of California? “Thank you for embarking on such a difficult journey! It means a lot to us that you are willing to do something like this. I admire your courage and determination to commit to it. My advice is to keep who you’re cycling for in mind. It’s easy to lose track of the end goal once you’re on the path for it. Thank you again!”
Simple but fierce, Tony’s design should be instantly familiar to us all. Ridden by the famed and feared #rallycats, this frame got its stripes because of Tony’s favorite predator, what he calls “the coolest animal on Earth.” The frame is striped with pure Rally orange and reveals Felt’s pristine carbon layup beneath the clear coat. It’s sure to make the competition cower. Tony’s advice for Rally UHC Cycling at the Tour of California? “If you’re not first, you’re last.”
After Chloe told us, “I want to be a famous singer when I grow up, because singing makes me feel good inside,” we wanted to make a bike with rhythm. This painterly design embodies sound itself, using the art of master abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky as inspiration. Kandinsky spent a lifetime visualizing music in his art, and his unique aesthetic shines through on this rideable canvas. Chloe’s advice for the team headed to the Tour of California? “Drink lots of water and please be safe.”
This intricate design was inspired by the beautiful terracotta pottery of ancient Greece, Laura’s favorite country. Her love of Greece comes from “a good childhood memory,” so the design team reached deep into the past to produce a grand, authentic motif inspired by Greece’s Iron Age pottery masterpieces. Bronze metallic and black with gold pearl paint make this frame shine in the peloton. Laura’s advice for the team headed to the Tour of California? “Enjoy the experience! Live it up! Bike how you want to remember being.”
Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and that means shorter days, colder weather, and additional precipitation. Of course, racing cyclocross is also a great way to stay fit in the wintertime. But for those sticking to the road, here are a few tips to maximize your bike’s ability to handle some big-mile days during winter.
Play Sports Group, publisher of Global Triathlon Network (GTN), has announced its selection of Felt Bicycles as the media organization’s new official bike partner for its GTN channel. As part of its new partnership with the Southern California-based bicycle manufacturer, GTN will feature Felt bikes in future content.
A cyclocross bike is ideally suited for going fast on a racecourse, while a gravel bike is best for all-day adventures over mixed terrain. But what separates these two types of bikes in terms of different riding experiences? And can’t you just have one of the two types of bikes to use for both gravel and cyclocross?